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Term Paper for Political Science Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 27 May 2018

Term Paper for Political Science

The study of the state, government, and politics. The idea that the study of politics should be ‘scientific’ has excited controversy for centuries. What is at stake is the nature of our political knowledge, but the content of the argument has varied enormously. For example, 1741 when Hume published his essay, ‘That Politics May Be Reduced to a Science’, his concerns were very different from those of people who have sought to reduce politics to a science in the twentieth century.

Although concerned to some degree to imitate the paradigm of Newtonian physics, Hume’s main objective was to show that some constitutions necessarily worked better than others and that politics was not just a question of personalities. Thus one of his main targets was the famous couplet in Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man: ‘For forms of government let fools contest,? |? Whate’er is best administer’d is best. ’ B. The Problem In 1968, the eminent political scientist David Easton wrote: “Political Science in mid-twentieth century is a discipline in search of its identity.

Through the efforts to solve this identity crisis it has begun to show evidence of emerging as an autonomous and independent discipline with a systematic structure of its own. ” However, the search for identity has been characteristic of political science from its inception on the American scene. Initially, the discipline was confronted with the task of demarcating its intellectual boundaries and severing its organizational ties from other academic fields, particularly history.

Subsequently, debate arose over goals, methods, and appropriate subject matter as political scientists tried to resolve the often conflicting objectives of its four main scholarly traditions: (1) legalism, or constitutionalism; (2) activism and reform; (3) philosophy, or the history of political ideas; and (4) science. By the late twentieth century, the discipline had evolved through four periods outlined by Albert Somit and Joseph Tanenhaus in their informative work The Development of American Political Science: From Burgess to Behavioralism (1967).

The four periods are the formative (1880–1903), the emergent (1903–1921), the middle years (1921–1945), and disciplinary maturity (1945–1990). It follows from this Kantian conception of the basis of science that there can only be one science, which is physics. This science applies just as much to people, who are physical beings, as it does to asteroids: like the theistic God, Kantian physics is unique or it is not itself. Biology, chemistry, engineering et al. re forms of physics, related and reducible to the fundamental constituents of the universe. The social studies are not, according to critics of political science, and become merely narrow and sterile if they attempt to ape the methods and assumptions of the natural sciences. The understanding we seek of human beings must appreciate their individual uniqueness and freedom of will; understanding people is based on our ability to see events from their point of view, the kind of insight that Weber called verstehen.

In short, the distinction between science and non-science, in its most significant sense, is a distinction between the natural sciences and the humanities; the two are fundamentally different and politics is a human discipline. However, there are a number of objections to this harsh dichotomy between politics and science. Semantically, it might be said, this account reads too much into the concept of science which, etymologically, indicates only a concern with knowledge in virtually any sense.

Wissenschaft in German, scienza in Italian, and science in French do not raise the profound philosophical questions which have been attached to the English word science. There are also many contemporary philosophers who seek to undermine the scientific nature of natural science. Inspired, particularly, by Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) they argue that science itself is not determined by the absolute requirements of its discourse, but is structured by the societies in which it operates.

Thus real physics is more like politics than it is like the Kantian ideal of physics, and it has no more claim to be a science than has politics. B . What are the four main scholarly traditions of Political science? C. What is legalism? D. What is constitutionalism? E. What is activism and reform? F. What is philosophy? G. The history of political ideas? H. Science C. Statement of the Problem (1) Legalism, or constitutionalism; (2) Activism and reform; (3) Philosophy, or the history of political ideas; and (4) Science. Legalism,

Legalism is a political philosophy that does not address higher questions pertaining to the nature and purpose of existence. It is concerned with the most effective way of governing society. The legalist tradition derives from the principle that the best way to control human behaviour is through written law rather than through ritual, custom or ethics. The two principal sources of Legalist doctrine were the Book of Lord Shang and the Han Fei-tzu. The Book of Lord Shang teaches that laws are designed to maintain the stability of the state from the people, who are innately selfish and ignorant.

There is no such thing as objective goodness or virtue; it is obedience that is of paramount importance. The Han Fei-tzu advocates a system of laws that enable the ruler to govern efficiently and even ruthlessly. Text books apart from law books are useless, and rival philosophies such as Moism and Confucianism are dismissed as “vermin”. The ruler is to conduct himself with great shrewdness, keeping his ministers and family at a distance and not revealing his intentions. Strong penalties should deter people from committing crime. History The origins of Legalist thought are unclear.

Some would date it as far back as the teaching of the 7th century BCE statesman Kuan Chung (d. 645 BCE), prime minister of the state of Ch’i, whose teachings are supposed to be represented by the Kuan-tzu. Other figures associated with an early form of legalism are Shang Yang (d. 338 BCE), the putative author of The Book of Lord Shang, and Shen Pu-hai (d. 337 BCE). Shang Yang was particularly important for the development of legalism since it was he who served as governor of the state of Ch’in and strengthened it to the extent that it was able to unify China in the following century. It was, however, Han Fei-tzu (d. 33 BCE) who systematised the various strands of Legalism in his work The Han Fei-tzu. Han Fei-tzu had been taught by the Confucianist Hsun-tzu, whose philosophy claimed that people were basically evil but could be guided towards goodness. Han Fei-tzu adopted and developed Hsun-tzu’s negative pessimistic attitude towards human nature by teaching that people were so bad that they needed to be controlled by strong government and strict laws. This principle was put into practice by the Ch’in dynasty, which on unifying China in 221 BCE, destroyed the feudal system and placed the country under a single monarch.

Under the Ch’in dynasty land was privatised, a uniform law code was established, and weights, measures and currency were standardised. Confucianism was severely persecuted; hundreds of Confucian scholars were killed and virtually all Confucian texts were destroyed. The two most powerful figures in the Ch’ing dynasty were Ch’in Shih Huang Ti (d. 210 BCE), the first emperor, and the prime minister, Li Ssu (d. 208 BCE). The death of Li Ssu created a power vacuum which led to peasant uprisings and rebellions that broke out all over the country.

In 207 BCE the Ch’in dynasty was overthrown and replaced by the Han dynasty, which favoured Confucianism. The viciousness of the Ch’in dynasty served to discredit Legalism. In spite of this legalism left its heritage in the form of a strongly centralised political system that would define Chinese government up until the present day and influence despotic Chinese rulers. When, for example, in 1973 Mao Tse Tung launched a campaign against his political opponents he identified himself with the first Ch’in emperor. Activism and reform Activism onsists of intentional efforts to promote, impede or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, and hunger strikes. Activists can function in roles as public officials, as in judicial activism.

Arthur Schlesinger Jr. introduced the term “judicial activism” in a January 1947 Fortune magazine article titled “The Supreme Court: 1947. ” Philosophy s the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek ????????? (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”. Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

In an older and closely related meaning (found, for example, in Aristotle), “science” refers to the body of reliable knowledge itself, of the type that can be logically and rationally explained (see History and philosophy below). Since classical antiquity science as a type of knowledge was closely linked to philosophy. In the early modern era the words “science” and “philosophy” were sometimes used interchangeably in the English language. By the 17th century, natural philosophy (which is today called “natural science”) was considered a separate branch of philosophy.

However, “science” continued to be used in a broad sense denoting reliable knowledge about a topic, in the same way it is still used in modern terms such as library science or political science. In modern use, “science” more often refers to a way of pursuing knowledge, not only the knowledge itself. It is “often treated as synonymous with ‘natural and physical science’, and thus restricted to those branches of study that relate to the phenomena of the material universe and their laws, sometimes with implied exclusion of pure mathematics. This is now the dominant sense in ordinary use. ” D. Importance of the Study

While both behaviorism and positive political theory exemplify the commitment to scientific rigor hoped for by Charles Merriam, the Cold War development of area studies had a less direct relationship to its predecessors. Prior to World War II, Americans had been inwardly focused; during this earlier era, “comparative politics” signified contrasting European parliamentary-style democracy with the American presidential model. However, with the rise of Adolf Hitler’s Germany and Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s, it became evident that democracy needed to be assessed in comparison to fascism and totalitarianism.

As the world broke into the two camps of Eastern communism and Western democracy in the 1950s and 1960s, and American political leaders required detailed knowledge of Eastern bloc nations and of Southeast Asia, political science departments and specialized institutes responded to this need. These undertakings were generously funded by the National Defense Education Act (NDEA); from 1958 to 1973 the NDEA Title IV provided $68. 5 million to the approximately 100 language and area centers. By 1973, these centers had produced 35,500 B. A. s, 14,700 M. A. s, and over 5,000 Ph.

D. s. Area studies focused on questions of modernization and industrialization and strove to understand the differing developmental logic of non-Western cultures; they embraced diverse methods for understanding native languages and native cultures and remained skeptical of approaches to comparative politics adopting universalizing assumptions. Lucian W. Pye, Robert E. Ward, and Samuel P. Huntington championed the approach, with Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations (1996) epitomizing the perspective afforded by the field. E. Definition of Terms Legalism,

Legalism is a political philosophy that does not address higher questions pertaining to the nature and purpose of existence. It is concerned with the most effective way of governing society. The legalist tradition derives from the principle that the best way to control human behaviour is through written law rather than through ritual, custom or ethics. The two principal sources of Legalist doctrine were the Book of Lord Shang and the Han Fei-tzu. The Book of Lord Shang teaches that laws are designed to maintain the stability of the state from the people, who are innately selfish and ignorant.

There is no such thing as objective goodness or virtue; it is obedience that is of paramount importance. The Han Fei-tzu advocates a system of laws that enable the ruler to govern efficiently and even ruthlessly. Text books apart from law books are useless, and rival philosophies such as Moism and Confucianism are dismissed as “vermin”. The ruler is to conduct himself with great shrewdness, keeping his ministers and family at a distance and not revealing his intentions. Strong penalties should deter people from committing crime. Activism and reform Activism onsists of intentional efforts to promote, impede or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change.

Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, and hunger strikes. Activists can function in roles as public officials, as in judicial activism. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. introduced the term “judicial activism” in a January 1947 Fortune magazine article titled “The Supreme Court: 1947. ” Philosophy s the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek ????????? (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”. Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

In an older and closely related meaning (found, for example, in Aristotle), “science” refers to the body of reliable knowledge itself, of the type that can be logically and rationally explained (see History and philosophy below). Since classical antiquity science as a type of knowledge was closely linked to philosophy. In the early modern era the words “science” and “philosophy” were sometimes used interchangeably in the English language. By the 17th century, natural philosophy (which is today called “natural science”) was considered a separate branch of philosophy.

However, “science” continued to be used in a broad sense denoting reliable knowledge about a topic, in the same way it is still used in modern terms such as library science or political science. In modern use, “science” more often refers to a way of pursuing knowledge, not only the knowledge itself. It is “often treated as synonymous with ‘natural and physical science’, and thus restricted to those branches of study that relate to the phenomena of the material universe and their laws, sometimes with implied exclusion of pure mathematics.

This is now the dominant sense in ordinary use. ” F. Review of the Related Study In the 1990s, disciplinary divisions existed over the efficacy and merits of the rational choice approach to politics, with many American political science departments divided into camps for and against. In leading centers for rational choice, including Rochester, Carnegie Mellon, California Institute of Technology, and George Washington, as many as half of the faculty adopted this method of study. Disciplinary controversy culminated in the publication of Donald P.

Green and Ian Shapiro’s Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory (1994), and the responding issue of Critical Review (winter-spring 1995). Whereas the future of this disciplinary strife remains unclear, it is clear that the rational choice theory has an ascendant position across the social sciences and in the spheres of business, law, and public policy. American political science continues to question its identity, and to reflect on appropriate research methodology; methodological pluralism continues to reign. The field’s continued self-examination reflects three independent axes.

One embodies the two extremes of particular and localized studies versus universalizing analyses; a second is defined by the extremes of considering either groups or individuals as the key to analysis; and a third is represented by the belief that a normative stance is unavoidable at one extreme, and by a firm commitment to the possibility of objectivity at the other extreme. In the midst of the numerous topics and methods structuring political science, one certainty is that it is no longer possible for a single individual to master the entire field. G. Summary he study of government and political processes, institutions, and behavior. Government and politics have been studied and commented on since the time of the ancient Greeks. However, it is only with the general systematization of the social sciences in the last 100 years that political science has emerged as a separate definable area of study. Political science is commonly divided into a number of subfields, the most prominent being political theory, national government, comparative government, international relations, and special areas shared with other social sciences such as sociology, psychology, and economics.

In practice, these subfields overlap. Political theory encompasses the following related areas: the study of the history of political thought; the examination of questions of justice and morality in the context of the relationships between individuals, society, and government; and the formulation of conceptual approaches and models in order to understand more fully political and governmental processes.

The study of national government focuses on the political system of the researcher’s particular country, including the legal and constitutional arrangements and institutions; the interaction of various levels of government, other social and political groups, and the individual; and proposals for improving governmental structure and policy. Comparative government covers many of the same subjects but from the perspective of parallel political behavior in several countries, regions, or time periods.

International relations deals both with the more traditional areas of study, such as international law, diplomacy, political economy, international organizations, and other forms of contact between nation states, and with the development of general, scientific models of international political systems. None of the political science subfields can be clearly separated. All of them, for example, deal with questions closely associated with political theory.

Valuable and sophisticated discussions of almost all the areas of political science, including the areas now generally classified under such titles as political sociology, can be found throughout intellectual history as far back as Plato and Aristotle. Through the centuries, the questions of political science have been discussed in contexts varying with the changing perspectives of the time. During the Middle Ages, for example, the major concerns revolved around the problem of where the state stood in relation to man and his God.

Karl Marx, on the other hand, viewed political questions in the context of society’s economic structure. Modern political science stresses the importance of using political concepts and models that are subject to empirical validation and that may be employed in solving practical political problems. H. Conclusion and recommendation This research is all about the study of the state, government, and politics. The idea that the study of politics should be ‘scientific’ has excited controversy for centuries. What is at stake is the nature of our political knowledge, but the content of the argument has varied enormously.

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